Pun intended, Emma Gatsby’s talent is INSANE. Gatsby was orphaned in her adolescence and bounced from negligent boarding schools to court-appointed custodians. After eventually emancipating herself at 16, she returned to rent the ‘Gatsby mansion,’ she was raised on earning her pseudo-surname from high school peers as a result from the parties she threw on the King’s Point compound. It’s an almost inconceivable amount of adversity to have overcome by 23, but Gatsby says it was distilling her trauma into songs that kept her sane.
Her EP, titled, “Sweet Nostalgia” is a coming of age sound for Gatsby - she took her time to craft this music and we are so thrilled to talk to her about it.
Why the title Sweet Nostalgia for your EP and what does it mean to you?
Emma: I chose the title for my EP because I think all songs kind of speak to this romanticism of the past .. there’s a version of my New York and an old New York both of which I draw a lot of inspiration from. It's about having this fairytale-like childhood and having it all pulled out from under me... continuously reliving it in my head and nothing else living up to it.
Can you talk a little bit about how “Insane” and “Sweet Nostalgia” differ from your previously released tracks?
Emma: I just think there’s more of a genuine connection between who I am and this music versus the previous stuff. I love all my music but I see some songs as more trial and error than a good artistic representation of who I am currently.. but that’s always changing too.
Who are some of your favorite artists and how do they influence your sound?
Emma: The Beatles, Elliott Smith, Frank Ocean, and my sister Olive Louise. All my favorite artists have created a world of their own; any great, in my opinion, has stayed pretty cohesive in that- I try to naturally emulate what that means for me.
What is your creative process like?
Emma: It really depends on the day. Sometimes it comes to me, sometimes I have to work for it. I try not to judge myself and I despise lazy lyrics so I try to steer clear of the “easy way out” in my writing.
What was the experience working with Channel Tres, AUGUST 08, and Tim Shuby?
Emma: I learned a lot from August, he’s an incredible artist/ songwriter ... they’re all really talented
How have you developed as an artist over the last few years?
Emma: Developing as an artist means developing as a person, that meant time alone and doing more of what made my soul feel full and letting go of what didn’t. Also a lot of long walks ...
What do you think your work aims to say? What is one message you would give to your fans?
Emma: I think more than I try to have my work say anything I try to make people feel and whatever that is is up to the listener. A message I would give is there is almost no situation that you can’t turn into an opportunity.
The thing you're most looking forward to this year?
Emma: To put out and make more music.